AT FIRST, it looks like the cast of Riverdance has been plugged into a live socket. Beneath bewildered faces, bodies jerk uncontrollably, arms and legs flailing in an attempt to kick out an Irish dance step. Even the pale dresses and trousers that adorn them seem scorched at the edges.
The Second Coming - Tramway, Glasgow
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Then, as the beautiful but complex layers of this multi-faceted show start to build, a sense of purpose is revealed. The late Irish poet W B Yeats has returned to earth, keen to observe how his homeland has changed and impart words of wisdom on the meaning of it all.
All around him, dancers find their feet – then lose them again, as they’re whisked through the air on a range of aerial apparatus. Behind him, real-time video imagery captures and distorts the on-stage action, while over to the side, four musicians deliver an exquisite original score of traditional Irish music. In short, it’s a busy, busy stage.
A joint production by Ireland’s Fidget Feet Aerial Dance and Hawk’s Well Theatre, The Second Coming is a strange but beguiling mix of dialogue, movement and song.
Despite the unnecessarily complicated script, actor Conor Delaney makes a fine Yeats with his brown wool suit and questioning tone. The Irish dance is both skilful and playful, while the aerial work is truly magical.
Dancers spin round in silken cocoons, climb horizontally up the wall or ascend giant metal spirals, producing one visually arresting image after another.
Seen on 16.01.15